PRINCE William and Kate led poignant tributes from across the world yesterday to brave Ukrainians fighting for survival.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took to social media to personally recall a previous meeting with the nation’s president two years ago.
The royal pair tweeted: “In October 2020 we had the privilege to meet President Zelensky and the First Lady to learn of their hope and optimism for Ukraine’s future.
“Today we stand with the President and all of Ukraine’s people as they bravely fight for that future. W & C”
In London, Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square was lit up with the iconic yellow and blue of Ukraine’s national flag.
The London Eye was also draped in the same tribute on the orders of the city’s mayor Sadiq Khan.
Virgin boss Richard Branson added to British messages of support, tweeting: “Yes, it’s the weekend. But in Ukraine it’s anything but a weekend.
“Think for a minute of the children, the mums and dads, the young men and women bravely trying to defend their country, the wounded and the dying. Let all our thoughts be with them all this weekend.”
Meanwhile in Rome, the famous Colosseum also donned the brace of blue and yellow as a giant projector illuminated the landmark.
Similar tributes were seen at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the City Hall in Barcelona, the Palazzo Marino in Milan and Praça do Comércio in Lisbon.
Read our Russia – Ukraine live blog for the very latest updates
On television, The Simpsons released a specially commissioned cartoon of Homer, Bart and the rest of family holding blue and yellow flags in “solidarity” for Ukraine.
The show’s executive producer Al Jean said such swift release of a politically-motivated image “did not happen very often” — but it was important to be “vigilant about defending freedom”.
The cartoon was drawn by animator and director David Silverman.
As well as the tributes, there were protests across the world.
Hundreds gathered for a second day running near Downing Street urging stronger action.
Placards slamming Russia were held aloft as people sang the Ukrainian anthem.
In Syria, artists painted a mural condemning Russia’s invasion while demonstrators in Athens sang songs backing the Ukrainians.
Angry Poles set fire to a Russian flag in Warsaw and in Australia, Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station and other buildings were lit up in blue and yellow.
People attended a pro-Ukraine rally in front of the Chancellery in Berlin.
Similar crowds gathered outside the Russian embassies in Rome, Madrid and Amsterdam.